MIAMI -- Given the Dodgers' recent results in Miami, the Marlins probably would have preferred a different opponent for their home opener.
Hiroki Kuroda pitched eight innings, and the Dodgers disappointed a crowd of 40,666 by beating Florida 7-3 on Friday night.
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Los Angeles is 11-3 in Miami since 2006, outscoring the Marlins 92-48."It's just one game," said Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who committed a costly throwing error. "We're not frustrated at all. We're going to come back tomorrow and win."Kuroda (1-0) limited Florida to five hits and an unearned run while striking out seven, and the only walk he allowed was intentional. Florida went 1 for 9 against him with runners in scoring position."I'm not big on giving pitchers credit, but he definitely deserves credit," the Marlins' Chris Coghlan said. "I didn't think he left any balls over the plate. In my four at-bats, everything was sinking and moving away. It's tough."Five of the Dodgers' eight hits were doubles, including a two-run double by James Loney in the ninth. Rafael Furcal had three hits and one of Los Angeles' three stolen bases. Manny Ramirez added two hits, scored once and drove in a run.Los Angeles was 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position before Casey Blake doubled home the tying run in the seventh. He scored on Blake DeWitt's single, and the Dodgers added two unearned runs in the four-run inning on the error by Hanley Ramirez.Kuroda threw 100 pitches before departing for a pinch hitter. By then, many fans had already left."He looked terrific," manager Joe Torre said. "It's just what we saw in the spring -- very confident, in control, economical. His command was outstanding."Kuroda won as the Dodgers' opening-day starter a year ago. He's coming off an injury-plagued 2009 season, including a concussion when a comebacker hit him on the front right side of his head."I'm so excited I got this win tonight," he said through a translator. "They are great hitters, but I was able to throw my pitches and get them out."With the score 7-1, the Dodgers' Russ Ortiz loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth. Jonathan Broxton came on with one out and gave up a two-run double by pinch-hitter Wes Helms, then struck out the next two batters.Chris Volstad (0-1) shut out the Dodgers for six innings, but he gave up three runs in the seventh. Florida's bullpen, which has struggled to start the season, allowed four more.The Marlins, perennially last in the NL in attendance, drew their largest crowd for a home opener in five years. When asked before the game about playing in front of a big crowd at home, Hanley Ramirez smiled."It only happens once every year," he said.The crowd enjoyed a pitchers' duel for the first six innings, before the Dodgers rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the seventh against Volstad."He was still cruising pretty decent," Blake said. "It was his ballgame to win or lose."Manny Ramirez led off with a double, and Blake's one-out double tied the score. With two outs and the bases loaded, Hanley Ramirez fielded a grounder in the hole and made a wild throw to second trying for a forceout.Florida took a brief 1-0 lead in the sixth. Cameron Maybin beat out a bunt to start the inning and continued to second when catcher Russell Martin made a wild throw to first on the play. Maybin went to third on a flyout and came home on Jorge Cantu's one-out single.In the first 2 1/2 innings, the Dodgers and Marlins each went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier missed his second game in a row because of a sore left ankle, and he's unlikely to start this weekend, Torre said. ... The left-field scoreboard with inning-by-inning scores of other games is gone. The Marlins said they decided against spending money on the extensive repairs needed because they'll be moving to a new ballpark in 2012. ... Marlins LHP Renyel Pinto, off to a poor start, drew boos in the pregame introductions and again when he entered in the ninth. ... Helms' 45th pinch hit was a Marlins record. ... Florida's Gaby Sanchez, Anibal Sanchez and Brian Sanches have side by side lockers. ... The Dodgers, who open their home schedule Tuesday, have already sold 2 million tickets.